Archive: October 11, 2011

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Privilege Waived for Failure to take “Reasonable Means” to Preserve Confidentiality

Privilege Waived for Failure to take “Reasonable Means” to Preserve Confidentiality

Pacific Coast Steel, Inc. v. Leany, No. 2:09-cv-12190-KJD-PAL, 2011 WL 4573243 (D. Nev. Sept. 30, 2011)

Plaintiffs purchased the assets of several companies in which Defendant Leany had an ownership interest and hired him as an Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Steel (“PCS”).  Leany was eventually terminated and his computer seized.  The privileged documents at issue in this opinion were either on Leany’s work computer at the time of his termination or had been migrated to a PCS server from one of defendants’ servers that was purchased by the plaintiffs.  When litigation ensued, defendants sought the return of the privileged documents in plaintiffs’ possession and a protective order prohibiting inquiry into certain areas related to those documents.  The court declined to grant the protective order upon finding that defendants’ privilege was waived because of their failure to “take reasonable means to preserve the confidentiality of the privileged information.”

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